Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that the “biggest mistake” of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was responding to then-candidate Donald Trump’s “Access Hollywood” video.
The video caught Trump sharing stories about how he had groped women in the past — without any apparent objection from them.
“I think the biggest mistake that was made, and everyone underestimated it the last time about President Trump, the place he’s most comfortable is in the gutter arguing,” Biden said at a New Hampshire campaign rally, according to the Washington Examiner.
Biden was talking about his role promoting Clinton’s 2016 campaign and he says he remembers the political atmosphere on the eve of the second presidential debate that was scheduled just days after the “Access Hollywood” tape became an election bombshell and was aired by virtually every media outlet in America. Biden claims he tried to intervene before the debate by providing his best advice. (RELATED: Biden Repeats Hillary Clinton’s Greatest Campaign Mistake During CNN’s Climate Town Hall)
“I remember at the time saying, you know, the first question that’s going to be asked is they’re going to ask [Trump] about his comments about the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape,” Biden said.
“And I said, I really think what should be done is — that they’re going to turn to [Clinton] and say, ‘What’s your view?’ And I said I’d respectfully recommend she stand there and … say, ‘Everybody knows who Donald Trump is. Let me tell you what I am going to do for the country,’ and not get into the debate, because it just drags it down.”
Biden then referenced a post-election Harvard University study that assessed the 2016 presidential campaign. The Democratic presidential candidate said one of the study’s observations was that candidates are well-served when they stick to subject matter where they are “comfortable.” (RELATED: On Debating Trump, Biden Says He Would ‘Smack’ Bullies)
Clinton’s former senior aide, Brian Fallon, objected to Biden’s remarks, wondering how he expected Clinton to respond to the “Access Hollywood” revelations. He told BuzzFeed, “Is he suggesting Hillary’s reaction to the Access Hollywood tape should have been, ‘Oh, nevermind? That is a pretty ‘Mad Men’-era mentality.”
Although Clinton apparently did not heed Biden’s advice, she has reportedly offered her own advice to Democrats who could potentially be facing-off against Trump.